Film lens on DX for portraits

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by thephotobud, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. thephotobud

    thephotobud TPF Noob!

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    I just got a 50mm AIS. I love it - built well, nice focus ring, super sharp.

    It seems, however, many think portraits are too hard with manual focus.
    I used to do that on my Nikon APS-C body(ies) with a 50 1.8 D lens. Sometimes I missed focus I guess - but it didn't seem to slow me down that much.

    It seems like a good decision to get the Nikon 50 1.8 G. But I just bought this AIS lens...

    What do you guys think? Should I spring for the other lens? Should I buy something else like an old 105 2.5 pre-AI?

    Thanks!


     
  2. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    be careful of the Pre-AI lenses as most of them won't mount on current dslrs
    see this chart for more information ==> Nikon Lens Compatibility
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The problem with AF is that photographers have forgotten how to focus manually. Everything is focused on the nearest element in the frame. Photographers never take advantage of the depth of field that exists in front of the subject. AF lenses sometimes hunt focus and the photographer loses the opportunity. I'm not against AF. I use it often. I'm against photographers no longer being able focus manually and creatively.

    Your lens is made better than current Nikkors. Learn to focus manually. You could end up with better images in some cases.

    A pre AI lens won't index to the metering system so you will have to give up the metering in the camera.
     
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  4. thephotobud

    thephotobud TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I have a D3300 so any lens like a pre-ai AIS etc mounts and doesn't have metering.
    Which honestly, for portraits, would probably speed things up the same way as autofocus does (autofocus with certain focus points selected, not just "let's hope this focuses on the eyes!") haha
     
  5. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Photographers have focused manually for the past 170-odd years.
     
  6. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    Or you could reduce the number of focus points your using to one and put that on the subjects eye. Autofocus works fantastic if you take the time to learn how to control it and adjust for the situation.

    Sent from my N9518 using Tapatalk
     
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  7. thephotobud

    thephotobud TPF Noob!

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    Yeah they definitely have. It's just the last times I used a MF lens on my DSLR it was super tough to nail focus. Hard to see I guess.
    Can understand why people like magnifying screens and focus peaking.
     
  8. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    For most of what I shoot manual focus really isn't a great choice. I use it on rare occasions but for the vast majority of my shooting I use the cameras AF system. It's a whole lot faster and more accurate than I could ever be even with a magnifying screen, focus peaking, etc. Trick is to understand how the cameras AF system works and set it properly for the situation. Once you learn to do that missed focus shots become the rare exception instead of the rule.

    Sent from my N9518 using Tapatalk
     
  9. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    That's because not all the light coming in through the lens is reflected up into the viewfinder in a DSLR. The mirror actually is not totally reflective, and allows a lot of it to pass through, where it is reflected down into the AF module that sets in front of and below the sensor.

    Back in the SLR film days, the mirrors reflected everything up into the viewfinder.
     
  10. Dave442

    Dave442 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The funny thing is that you can mount a pre-Ai lens on a D3300, but not on a D800.

    My old SLR cameras had great focusing screens. The only time I always manual focus with the DSLR is when doing macro or focus stacking. I do use back button focus so that I can quickly test focusing at different distances to see what I prefer for the image.
     
  11. thephotobud

    thephotobud TPF Noob!

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    Yeah it's almost too bad AF is more accurate than my eye, considering how cheap MF lenses are. I like MF for walk around though, as long as I have time to compose.

    So if they reflected everything to the viewfinder, would that make it easier to see? And also they probably had that split screen (split prism? I forget what it's called).
     
  12. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Oh, absolutely! But to do so requires you to replace the mirror in your DSLR. And doing that will totally disable AF.

    Split prisms and microprism collars were the standard of the day.
     

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